Ben Achtenberg (
Mon, 10 Jan 2000 08:24:26 -0800 (PST)

I expect that some participants in this listserv may be familiar with
Richard Broadman's documentary work, and a few may have known him
personally. I am therefore passing on this message received Saturday from
Fred Simon & Susi Walsh at the Center for Independent Documentary.



Richard Broadman, award winning independent documentary filmmaker,
teacher, and a pioneer member of the Boston film community since the 1960’s,
died suddenly last week.
Richard’s work began in the 1960’s and spanned three decades, including
such films as “Down the Project”(about the Columbia Hill housing project,) “Mi
ssion Hill and the Miracle of Boston “(about the Mission Hill Housing
project,) “The Collective”, a retrospective look at the members of a Boston
Collective of the 1960’s); “Love Stories: Men, Women and Romance”, and most
recently, the nearly completed “Brownsville Black & White”, the story of race
relations over three decades in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville; and
others. In addition to his documentary work, Richard also surprised and
delighted his friends and other audiences when he turned his hand to Edgar
Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “Tale of the Ragged Mountain”
An independent’s independent, Richard was fiercely committed to the
issues which drove him to make his documentaries, and was never willing to
compromise his vision of how those films should be made. For three decades,
he used his considerable filmmaking skill and energy to shed light on the
social and political issues he felt were important. We were always amazed at
how many films Richard was able to make despite the financial (on more than
one occasion a film was funded on his own credit cards rather than waiting
and hoping for funding to come along) and other obstacles he had to overcome
to make them. As a pioneer maker of social issue documentaries in the
1960’s, Richard’s work helped define Boston as a center for documentary film
and videomaking.
More than a filmmaker, Richard influenced scores of students as a
teacher at The Boston Museum School, Tufts, and the Boston Film and Video
Foundation, where he also served on the board of directors.
We at the Center for Independent Documentary will always be grateful for
our opportunity to work with Richard on The Collective, and Brownsville;
Black & White.
There will be a gathering of Richard’s friends to celebrate his life
tomorrow (Sunday, January 9) at 1:30 PM at his home at 170 Garden Street in
Cambridge. Our deep sympathy goes to Richard’s wife Mia Saunders and his
daughter Ellie.
A memorial fund is being established in Richard’s name by The Center for
Independent Documentary. The fund will benefit both his daughter Ellie, and
the costs of completing his final film, Brownsville: Black & White. Checks
should be made out to The Center for Independent Documentary, with “Richard
Broadman Memorial Fund” noted on the check’s memo line. Contributions should
be sent to The Center for Independent Documentary, 43 Myrtle Street, Norfolk,
MA 02056.

Fred Simon
Susi Walsh

Ben Achtenberg
Fanlight Productions
4196 Washington St, Suite 2
Boston, MA 02131

(800) 937-4113 / (617) 469-4999
Fax: (617) 469-3379